Date of Award

Fall 1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This is not the dissertation I had planned to write. When I began my graduate studies, a wise professor encouraged me to select a dissertation topic early in my course work, so that I could focus as many seminar papers as possible on that area of research. I immediately saw the advantage of this procedure and decided during my first year of course work to do a tradition-historical analysis of the footwashing in John 13:1-12. "The best laid schemes .... " In my last year of course work, I took a class from Dr. Patrick Carey in American Catholicism. One of the requirements was the writing of a book review, so I used this opportunity to read Gerald P. Fogarty's American Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A History from the Early Republic to Vatican II. I was immediately engrossed in the topic. Fogarty's account was not only very readable, but full of verve - an accomplishment of no small order when dealing with the lives of academics. Upon finishing the book, two things struck me. First, I realized that, while I had digested any number of important works by the great figures of 19th- and 20th-century Protestant biblical scholarship, I had read nothing by a Catholic exegete earlier than the generation of Raymond E. Brown, S.S. Second, as a student of the Bible, I now yearned for more exegetical detail to fill out Fogarty's history: What did these American Catholic exegetes say about the problem of sources? What were their methodological procedures? What did their actual exegesis look like when turned to specific issues in any given pericope? How did they understand the relationship between texts and contexts?...



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